Park Evacuated After Mountain Lion Sighting: Sheriff's Office - NBC Bay Area
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Park Evacuated After Mountain Lion Sighting: Sheriff's Office

Officials remained at the park until nightfall, when the mountain lion climbed down on its own and went on its way

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Several hundred park visitors in the South Bay got a scare when they were told to evacuate the premises because of an aggressive mountain lion, according to the Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office. Sharon Katsuda reports. (Published Sunday, June 5, 2016)

    Several hundred children were evacuated from a San Francisco Bay Area park Saturday after a mountain lion growled at kids and ran up a tree.

    The big cat was seen snarling at children Saturday at McClellan Ranch Preserve near Cuptertino, according to the Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office.

    Deputies arrived to find the cougar had climbed a tree across from a residential neighborhood near McClellan Road.

    Neighbors familiar with the park said the animal has been seen before.

    Courtesy Fontenelle Forest Rehabilitation Center

    "Somebody was walking by and spotted it and reported it," neighbor Matt Schweibert said. "Then once it was reported, they were basically blocking all the foot traffic. I've been trying to photograph it for about two years now, and I finally got an opportunity to get a couple of shots."

    Officials from the state Department of Fish and Wildlife were also called to the scene and decided against tranquilizing and relocating the animal. Deputies and wildlife officials remained at the park until nightfall, when the mountain lion climbed down on its own and went on its way.

    Mountain lion attacks on humans are rare, with only 16 such incidents in California since 1890, according to Fish and Wildlife officials, but authorities warn people to be careful when hiking with pets and small children in areas cougars have been known to inhabit.

    Anyone who spots a mountan lion should not approach it and should call 911.

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